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How to tackle two major sales and marketing challenges

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At the 2014 Advisor Network Summit in Las Vegas, Brandon Stuerke, CRPC, president of Columbia, Mo. based Golden Financial Group, LLC, addressed why many advisors are asking the wrong marketing questions, how consumers make their decisions, and what strategies advisors can employ to motivate prospects to make a decision before they even walk through your door. 

To begin, Stuerke noted that advisors face two major sales and marketing challenges:

1. Their marketing funnels have massive holes.

Most advisors are asking the question, “How do I generate leads?” Or if they have enough leads, “How do I generate more quality leads?” That’s the wrong question. Unfortunately, many marketing strategies have massive holes. Take direct mail campaigns, for example. The usual model goes like this: prospects RSVP, attend the seminar, set up an appointment, show up for the appointment, and then become a client. But some prospects RSVP and don’t show up. Some people who attend the seminar don’t make an appointment. And some who come in for an appointment say, “Thanks for the information. I’d like to think about it,” and never become a client.

2. Their marketing strategies are out of touch with today’s consumer.

Consumers are moving to the Internet to get their information. Who wants to attend a seminar for information they can find online? Advisors have so much knowledge to offer, but if you can’t get your message out to people who need to hear it, it does them no good and it does you no good.

There are two ways people make buying decisions:

External decisions: When people sell them or convince them. Consumers are afraid to be sold. They don’t like feeling pressured.

Internal decisions: When people convince themselves. People love to come to their own conclusions.

Many advisors try to coax external decisions, which only agitates the consumer and doesn’t facilitate trust. It presents the problem and creates panic, leaving the prospect with a feeling of even less control than when they started.

Instead, appeal to prospects’ internal decision-making by offering a free and informative video course on your website. By educating prospects upfront, you are reaching a large potential audience and bypassing any marketing holes that might slow down progress. But you don’t want to just educate; you want to motivate.

What motivates prospects to walk into your door after watching your online course? There are six psychological reasons that this marketing technique is successful:

  1. Reciprocity: If you give something away first, people are more inclined to want to take action back in your direction. Give the prospects free knowledge, and they’ll be more likely to want to meet you.
  2. Community: You’re reaching a large audience. And when they’re filtering into your office, they see they’re not the only ones who need guidance. There is safety in community.
  3. Stories and social proof: By sharing stories and personal anecdotes, you are putting things in context and increasing the likelihood that you will strike a chord with prospects and that they will relate to you.
  4. Confidence and momentum: Prospects want confidence in you, confidence in the plan, and – most of all – confidence in themselves.  They want to see the path and the progress they are making.
  5. Simplicity: In the insurance and financial world, we tend to overcomplicate. Consumers are looking for simple answers, and an online course can build value without confusion.
  6. Relationship, interaction and engagement: Your course displays who you are and where your values lie. Numerous prospects get to know you first, without fear of being sold to.

Prospects will walk into your office already knowing you, what your values are, what your strategies look like, and – best of all – they made the decision to pursue you, which gives them confidence, control and trust in your process. 

For more live coverage from the 2014 Advisor Network Summit, please go here.


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